Chief Justice Cady delivers Condition of the Judiciary with focus on funding
In the House Chamber of the Iowa State Capitol on Jan. 11, Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady delivered his annual Condition of the Judiciary speech. One of the major topics he discussed was judicial branch funding.
Last session, the judicial branch was flat-funded, receiving no increase in its general fund appropriation. This resulted in the court having to establish a hiring freeze, hold open judicial vacancies, reduce travel and issue a moratorium on specialty courts. If the legislature fails to increase judicial funding for FY 2018, the court has stated that there is a potential for layoffs, closing or reduction of courthouse hours, delayed maintenance in EDMS, delayed civil litigation and the elimination of specialty courts. The court has requested an increase of $12.5 million for FY 2018, which is a 6.9 percent increase.
The Iowa State Bar Association officers also met today with the Governor and other legislative leaders as part of the annual ISBA lobbying day, to promote the 2017 affirmative legislative program that was approved by the ISBA Board of Governors in December. The ISBA has one of the most aggressive affirmative programs of any interest group in the state.
Look for more on the Condition of the Judiciary and ISBA lobbying day in the upcoming February issue of The Iowa Lawyer magazine.
Updates to jury instructions, title standards available online
The newest version of the ISBA's jury instructions and real estate title standards are now live online, available via Fastcase and the bar's website.
Updates to the jury instructions include two changes to civil instructions and three changes for criminal. Instructions on how to find them in Fastcase are available on the bar's jury instructions page. Click here to access the civil jury instructions. Access the criminal jury instructions here.
The eighth edition of the Iowa Land Title Standards includes six changes that were approved by the Board of Governors in December. The new edition is available for download in either PDF or Word format.
These students really know the Constitution!
The top performers in the Young Lawyers Division Know Your Constitution contest were honored Jan. 6 during a luncheon in West Des Moines. The contest involves a multiple choice quiz and short essay for students statewide in grades 9-12. Winning entries are selected from each of Iowa’s 100 legislative districts. At the luncheon, five students and their teachers were also randomly selected to attend a week-long program in Washington, D.C. through the Close Up Foundation, paid for by the ISBA.
Pictured below are the winners with (far left) Sam Langholz, co-chair of the YLD Know Your Constitution Committee, (second from the right) Bob Gainer, co-chair of the YLD Know Your Constitution Committee, and (far right) ISBA President Skip Kenyon.
From Madrid High School: students Yoona Chun and Madelyn Ostendorf, with their teacher James Mertz; from Edgewood Colesburg High School: student Laida Renteria, with her teacher Mike Lutgen; from Holmes Jr. High in Cedar Falls: student Devin O’Loughlin and her teacher Kevin Kuker; from Mediapolis High School: student Sarah Vorwerk and teacher Cathy Isley.
Free webinar available on lawyers and dementia
The State Bar of Arizona is offering a free webinar to attorneys nationwide about the impact of dementia on lawyers and judges Feb. 15.
This 75-minute program is free for all who are interested and will cover recognition of the disease, available resources and responsibilities of attorneys faced with dementia in themselves or others.
Registration is available for both individuals and groups through that state bar's website.
Justice department announces procedures for eyewitness identification
Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates announced that the United States Justice Department is issuing, for the first time, department-wide procedures on eyewitness identification, which will apply to agents at the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the U.S. Marshals Service. The procedures will guide federal prosecutors when deciding whether to charge a case involving an eyewitness identification.
The procedures address the use of “photo arrays,” the most common methods used by law enforcement to determine whether a witness can identify the perpetrator of a crime, and are designed to ensure that law enforcement personnel do not suggest to a witness, even unintentionally, that they know which photograph contains the image of the suspect.
“Eyewitness identifications play an important role in our criminal justice system, and it’s important that we get them right,” said Deputy Attorney General Yates. “With today’s procedures, we’re taking one more step to ensure that law enforcement officers obtain the most reliable evidence possible during a criminal investigation and that all Americans can have confidence in the fairness of our criminal justice system.”
Read more on the DOJ website.
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